On Feb. 20 and 21, Tom Jackiewicz, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, spoke with staff at a pair of town hall-style meetings addressing the state of the health system. The standing-room-only events were held at Soto II and Aresty Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus.

Joining Jackiewicz were Rod Hanners, chief operating officer of Keck Medicine and CEO of Keck Medical Center of USC, and Shawn Sheffield, chief strategy officer for Keck Medicine.

Jackiewicz began the meetings by acknowledging the tremendous growth trajectory of Keck Medicine over the past decade. Since USC purchased the hospitals from Tenet Healthcare in 2009, net revenue has increased from $500 million to nearly $2 billion. Jackiewicz attributed this growth to the continued delivery of high-quality patient care and a commitment to innovation.

“We have accomplished so much in a short amount of time. Everyone should feel tremendously proud of the impact we have had in the Los Angeles market and beyond,” he said. “But we must continue to improve. We must continue to innovate. This will differentiate us from other health care systems.”

The leaders also discussed Keck Medicine’s recent regional expansion efforts. These include the acquisition of Los Angeles Cardiology Associates and LA Cancer Center, and the opening of the Arcadia Multispecialty Center, Keck Medicine’s largest outpatient satellite facility to date.

Future investment in the medical enterprise was another key topic, with the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the health system working on a combined strategic plan for the next decade of growth that envisions major infrastructure improvements at both Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as new facilities across the medical enterprise.

“We have the potential to be the elite academic health system in Southern California,” Sheffield said. “And with these investments we will attain a global prominence in the medical and biological sciences, translational research, biotechnology and patient care.”

The leaders opened the floor up to questions from staff and discussions covered a variety of subjects including equipment updates, staff engagement, monitoring accountability, strategies for retaining qualified talent and, of course, parking.

“Faculty and employee engagement is very important to leadership,” Hanners said. “It is a strategic imperative for us to effectively engage the hearts and minds of our faculty and staff in advancing our health care system. As leaders, we have a responsibility to give our faculty and staff an environment and the tools to be able to perform at their highest level.”

At the close of each meeting, all three leaders acknowledged the future challenges for the health system. But, each reiterated that the employees are what will propel Keck Medicine forward.

“The key to growth is hiring the right people,” Jackiewicz said. “It’s the human factor that allows an organization to build success. New buildings and infrastructure are needed, but it’s not just about physical structures. It’s about the talented people who are at the center of the enterprise. This is our focus. With great people, the sky is the limit for us.”

— Matthew Vasiliauskas